Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Murdering Indian rape gang's death sentences upheld

Nirbhaya Akshay Thakur Mukesh Singh Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma
Orlando Vargas | 07 May, 2017, 12:07

Her friend, Awindra Pratap Pandey, survived.

The four were convicted for raping and assaulting the 23-year-old paramedical student inside a moving bus on December 16, 2012.

When women do report rapes, police often refuse to file charges and pressure the victims to reach a compromise with their attackers. While Nirbhaya's friend tried fighting the men, they beat him severely. The men then threw the pair off the bus naked, leaving them to die on a winter night. Nirbhaya was in awful condition, and she remained dumped beside the road while the city continued its usual course.

Nirbhaya was eventually rescued and given medical attention. She was taken to Singapore for further treatment.

- The Supreme Court said the 23-year-old woman had suffered a "devastating hour of darkness". While a magistrate was recording her statement on her death bed, her mother was also present. But Indian public opinion remains strongly in support of capital punishment with celebrations held in November 2012 when a gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks was put to death in the first execution in eight years. "I am alive, and kept myself strong, only to see this day".

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"We are very happy that [the] Supreme Court has heard our voice, and that they understood Nirbhaya's pain in this matter, and that along with Nirbhaya, the whole country has found justice", Badrinath Singh, the victim's father, told reporters outside the courtroom, using a nickname for his daughter. With such stern judgment, the apex court has not only revived the trust of the entire nation but has also spread fear among potential culprits.

Reacting to the judgment, Nirbhaya's mother said although she was happy with it, crime related to women are still happening across the country. "The fight is not ours alone". Her father BN Singh, who says he will never stop missing his daughter, added, "It's not just a victory for my family, it's a victory for each and every woman in our country".

Supreme Court was hearing an appeal filed by the convicts Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh, challenging the Delhi High Courts March 2014 confirmation of the death penalty declared by a trial court in 2013, ANI reported. The bus driver, Ram Singh, committed suicide before the court convicted them.

The sixth suspect was just months short of 18 years when the crime took place. Of the remaining five, one was a juvenile who was sentenced to three years in a correctional facility, from which he was released ahead of time in November 2015.

Will the justice system in India allow the Delhi gand rape convicts to face such a torturous end?

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